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Holy Communion

Jesus celebrated a Last Supper with his disciples on the night before he died. He broke bread with them, and shared a cup of wine. Ever since then Christians have obeyed Jesus' command to repeat his actions. For many Christians it is the most important act of worship, as the following quote shows:

Jesus told his friends to do this and they have done it ever since. Was ever another command so obeyed? For century after century, spreading slowly to every continent and country and among every race on earth, this action has been done, in every conceivable human circumstance, for every conceivable human need from infancy and before to extreme old age and after it, from the pinnacles of earthly greatness to the refuge of fugitives in the caves and dens of the earth.

There has been found no better thing than this to do for kings at their crowning and for criminals going to the scaffold; for armies in triumph or for a bride and bridegroom in a little country church; for the wisdom of a parliament or for a sick old woman afraid to die… One could fill many pages with the reasons why this has been done, and not tell a hundredth part of them. And best of all, week by week and month by month, on a hundred thousand successive Sundays, faithfully, unfailingly, across all the parishes of each continent and country, the pastors have done this to make the plebs sancta dei - the holy common people of God.

Dom Gregory Dix

The service of Holy Communion is sometimes given other names, such as the Lord's Supper, the Eucharist and the Mass.
Eucharist simply means thanksgiving.
In the Bible we read that the night before Jesus was crucified,

He took bread, and when he had given thanks,
he broke it, and said,
This is my body…
(1 Corinthians 11:24)

Jesus told his followers to do likewise, to break bread and share wine,

 "in remembrance of me"

Today Christians speak of the Communion service as something that is 'celebrated', for it is not simply a social gathering or a look backwards into history - it is a meeting with Christ in the present.

In the Communion Service we bring our thanks to God as we celebrate the gift offered to us, the gift of nothing less than God's self-giving love. In the Eucharist we hear the good news that the living God offers to share his life and love with us, and we respond in prayerful praise, experiencing forgiveness and healing.


In obedience to Jesus' command, we take bread and wine and share them in remembrance of him, celebrating his presence with us now and the confidence we are given for the future.

In the Communion Service we meet as the family of God, and it is a kind of family meal. Here there are no divisions of status or class, as each person is of equal and supreme importance. In fact, through our participation in the Eucharist, we ourselves become the Body of Christ; we ourselves become bread to be broken, to meet the needs of a hungry world. Nourished by the body and blood of Christ, we are sent out from worship to take God's faith, hope and love to the people and places where they are needed.

Christians believe that God is preparing a future for us which can be spoken of as feast, a heavenly banquet to which all are invited. Until then, Communion will continue to be celebrated and God's people (Christ's Body) have much work to do.

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Wolborough & Ogwell Parishes
July 2015